Best of Both Worlds: Stage Mashups in PlayStation All-Stars

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Best of Both Worlds: Stage Mashups in PlayStation All-Stars

Drawing upon nearly two decades of PlayStation lore, PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale assembles a dream roster of legendary fighters plucked from the annals of PlayStation history. But the characters are only half the story: Developer SuperBot Entertainment has invested much blood, sweat, and tears into the game’s elaborate fighting stages, each of which fuses two classic PlayStation brands into a whole that’s greater than the sum of its parts.

“We have a huge team of designers, artists, and programmers working on the characters, but we have a team that’s at least equally large working on the levels,” Game Director Omar Kendall told PlayStation.Blog in a revealing new interview. “It’s a huge undertaking in a game like this, because the levels have such a loud voice.”

The inspiration to fuse two seemingly unrelated game worlds came early in the game’s development, with the now-familiar Hades level serving as the germ of the concept. “We had this idea of a giant Hades wreaking havoc on the playspace, when suddenly this happy-go-lucky music kicks in and the Patapons come over the hill to overthrow him,” Kendall remembered. “Once that came together, we knew we were onto something.”

PlayStation All-Stars Battle RoyalePlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale

Gameplay rests firmly at the heart of each stage’s design. “We start by sitting around a table, a bunch of designers and artists, trying to figure out an interesting combat space to fight in,” Kendall said. Sometimes that manifests itself as a specific gameplay interaction, whether it’s Dreamscape’s ever-growing level architecture (a nod to LittleBigPlanet’s level creator) or the vertical scrolling in Alden’s Tower (a homage to inFAMOUS’s final stage).

“Some characters excel against enemies that are in front of them, others directly above and below them,” Kendall explained, “so we create playspaces that leverage those advantages and disadvantages.” Case in point: Chop-Chop Master Onion’s tiny dojo is designed to create a uniquely claustrophobic play style, while Metropolis is wide-open and favors longer-range strategies.

“Technically, the process can be extremely complicated based on the ideas we’re introducing,” Kendall admitted. “So many of the levels in the game are essentially one-offs. We’ll create a lot of technology to construct a specific type of encounter, and then toss it and build a totally different experience for the next level.”

PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale

Though inefficient, that approach is yielding some dazzling results. Such is the case with the game’s exhilarating mashup between UNCHARTED 3 and 2013’s BioShock Infinite. “When we first watched the demonstration of Columbia, it left a strong and lasting impact,” Kendall remembered. “We knew we wanted to incorporate that world and those characters into one of our levels.” Then UNCHARTED 3’s famous cargo plane sequence entered the picture, and the rest is history.

Other times, an interesting visual contrast might spark the inspiration for a mashup. Time Station begins firmly rooted in the whimsical Ape Escape universe. Halfway through the match, a teleportation error sees the Resistance 3 universe bleed into the environment — including a monstrous, rampaging Widowmaker.

PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale: Time StationPlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale: Time Station

It’s important to note that these stage evolutions are no mere cosmetic flourish: new hazards, new level layouts, and new strategies develop organically as the stages bleed from one universe to the next, creating a truly dynamic combat arena.

Be sure to watch our new video documentary to get an inside look at SuperBot’s process for constructing stages in PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale. Which stage mashup are you most interested in playing so far?

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8 Author Replies

  • Announce more characters and I’ll start to give a hoot.

    And not pollute.


  • Super excited for the UNCHARTED 3: Drake’s Deception and Resistance 3 stages. Fun dynamics and amazing set pieces to brawl in ;)

  • did i just see a dragon from LAIR flying on the Uncharted 3 stage?

  • MY PS3 & Vita will have an EPIC Xmas…Whoot Whoot. The stages look great. Im super excited for cross-buy. Between Battle Royale/ R&C and LBP Racing, I swear the Ps3 Has the great line-up of titles for this holiday season..Keep Em coming guys/gals….Keep on Gaming.

  • *Side note* Patapons Killing Hades is super EPIC…LOL

  • This is nice and all but its close to October and i’m still underwhelmed by the roster so far. Please tell me you are still planning new characters. Aside from the notable absense of Crash and Spyro (both probably due to Activision’s stuborness), i was also hoping to get at least one Jrpgf character represented considering how big that genre was during the Ps1 era.

  • Can’t wait to get this! One more game with Sly Cooper and many other characters I love.


  • The cross-platform beta was awesome unfortunately I had a problem getting into the forums another case I could not I could not leave any feedback that was a bummer anyway isn’t really early where you’re at Sid go to sleep a boy needs his rest lol thanks for the post it was awesome

  • Anyway the game is coming along fantastically it looks incredible on the PS3 and the vita and this isn’t even the final build both teams are doing a excellent job

  • I hope Ellen or Keats (from Folklore) get added, that would make it a day one purchase for me xD

  • We have a resistance stage…so how about Nathan Hale? I think he wudve worked…

  • Everything is looking great and all with the gameplay and the stages, but seriously, after the letdown of TGS Im sure most of the fans and followers are waiting for more characters reveals and important surprises.

    I hope these remaining weeks lead to great news :)

  • I also cant access the Allstars Beta forum. The steps in the email provided result in a message that states
    “Your permissions do not allow you access to this section.”
    Ever since they changed the forums a few months ago ive had nothing but problems with access privileges

  • Would someone answer me? I have asked since tuesday and I have been ignored, Why is One Piece: Pirate Warriors absent from the mexican store? Are you guys ever releasing it here?

  • You wanna talk stages? Fine, where the hell is the Shadow of the colossus stage? or the ico stage? wheres the warhawk, Gran turismo, mod nation, motorstorm, flower, journey, escape plan and demon’s souls stages?

    Instead of doing double reps and stages for 3rd party characters, how about you get your priorities straight and get these games represented in the stages.

  • When are Plus members going to get a chance to play this? You said Fall and Fall started last week.

  • The levels look amazing and really seem to add a lot to the game but at the same time I’m concerned because I’ve heard ppl and podcasters in the beta say its really hard to spot and track your character. Wondering how the team at Superbot is handling this.

  • One of my favorite things about this video is about 3 minutes in, we quickly get to see a game that isn’t time but rather based upon hitting a certain score. Great job Superbot!

  • Screw all the haters.
    I’m extremely happy with everything you’ve shown so far, and especially the roster. While not everyone can be perfectly satisfied, I can see exactly how you tried to satisfy as many people as you can. I’m really looking forward to more reveals (while I’m sure there aren’t going to be any more character reveals), and I definitely can’t wait to get my hands on this game.

    Thanks for all the amazing work that was put into PS All-Stars! I’ll be picking this gem up day 1.

  • See the character at the left? Yeah, him. Announce him. Please. All the hype you built up for this game is slowly dying. You need to get us pumped again!

  • @16:
    Shadow of the Colossus is probably represented. They haven’t revealed everything yet. Ico is a great game, but I don’t see anything gameplay-wise extremely special that a stage could offer.
    Warhawk already has a stage. It was revealed in the trailer from TGS, along with Sly Cooper’s Paris (Mashed with the Negativitron from LBP2), and the LocoRoco stage (Mashed with Metal Gear Solid).
    Gran Turismo, Modnation, and Motorstorm are all racing games. I think that Gran Turismo is the only one that really needs to be represented. Modnation already has some items in the game, too.
    Flower and Journey are a must. I’m surprised we haven’t seen anything for them yet.
    Escape Plan is pretty new. This game began development around three years ago, so that decreases its chances. But at the same time, we have Dante and Raiden…
    I’ve never played Demon’s Souls, so I can’t really talk about it. I don’t think that the franchise is exclusive to PS anymore though…

    Give SB a chance. They’ve been working hard on this game, and 3rd Party Franchises make up a lot of PlayStation’s history too.

  • @16…Flower/Journey/Escape Plan & Demon Souls are all new games In the playstation family. Great games, yes, but to make a big deal as to them not being in Playstation All Stars, is kind of silly. Ive seen warhawks in the game already, so I think you will see a WARHAWK stage. The line-up looks solid so far. and the Mash up of stages are also well playstation oriented so far also. And we all know how big a deal of DLC is these days. So I would say that everything is possible to add later on, but for now, this game looks as solid as any other fighter on the market…Hope it does well this h$liday season.

  • does this game allow for customizable soundtracks with our own music?

  • The more and more Superbpt keep their mouths shut about this game, the more and more I lose interest. I don’t get why a company is so hush hush about their game? I guess they are looking for the best way to get their next set of characters leaked. I still don’t know anything about the story, how many total characters we are getting, how many stages there are, what modes there are, who the final boss is etc etc. I was really excited about this game, but as the days go by, and Superbot and Sony want to keep “their lips sealed” the more I lose interest. I am starting to think it was a bad idea for Superbot to take a challenge of making a game like this. I hope I am wrong and they prove me wrong soon.

  • I hope we get to see a character viewer and PlayStation museum in the game too.
    Somewhere to view art, music, history and videos.
    I really want this to be a game that I can get a lot of play out of, so I’m hoping for a story mode of sorts and unlockables. Yes, I LOVE unlockables. They keep me playing.
    I’m not very competitive but if you can fill the game up with stuff to unlock and add in as many trophies as possible (more than 30ish, I want 50+) I will feel I’ve got my money’s worth.

  • someone know if i buy batman at retail,will i unlock the trophies i already unlock with the PS+ demo.

  • When was this interview recorded? After or before PAX?

    And look at that concept art! It’s so awesome, wish stuff like that could be unlockable to view in the game.

  • Really ? @25, you want to know who the FINAL BOSS is before the game is released ??? Im sorry, but I want to find that out on my own when I play the game…And there are many videos from the developers about the gameplay/ characters/ super moves/ stages and more…do some research and you will see.


  • i really want to pre order this game but im still waiting for that character that really strikes a chord with me.. like cloud or lighting or alucard, also kat from gravity rush, character from journey, lil and llarg would be nice but there really needs to be a FF character in there please! some of my most memorable playstation moments growing up involved final fantasy, make it happen SuperBot

  • Will we be able to pre-order PlayStation All-Stars on the PlayStation Store?

  • im with @17 when are we, the ps+ members, gonna get the beta? i missed the first beta cause i didnt have internet and couldnt download it and the second one never got to me. i really need this beta!!! need to prove prove some for my friends wrong when they say its just a SSB rip-off… this is gonna be better.


    Looking forward to hearing about what modes are going to be included and more about the progression system Seth Killian spoke of in PS Podcast a few weeks ago. Do remember Seth mentioning something about there being a trial mode as well….

    As far as characters go, Drake and Nariko are on the roster, so I’m satisfied there.

  • oh yeah, Superbot, please include Customizable soundtracks/Custom music via XMB

  • If you’re still underwhelmed by the roster, then this game isn’t for you.

    As someone who has been playing PlayStation since 1995, I’m pumped about the roster. I may not be a fan of every single character on the roster, but I’m familiar with each and every one of them, and just about all of my favorites are there, barring a few niche ones.

    I can’t wait for November already!

  • Any news about the demo for this game?

  • Is there any news about the demo for this game?

  • @18
    I’ve had no problem knowing who my character is in the beta…

  • I’m liking all the mash-ups so far as they usually blend well together. There is one exception though. The Loco Roco/MGS Stage it’s easily the worst looking stage. Why not try mixing Loco Roco with Patchwork Heroes, Patapon, or something else colorful by Sony Japan. Cartoony + Realistic background just don’t mix.

  • So…is there an option for us to unlock each character? I like having that challenge of earning characters then having everything from the getgo.

  • is there 3d support for this game?

  • On twitter you said you announced the full launch line up.. Please tell me this isn’t the final roster

  • That Uncharted/BioShock Infinite stage looks quite inspired.
    Good show.

  • @ 25…Dude, where have you been getting your Playstation All Stars News from? The Final Boss will be FIRMWARE update 4.1XX and his minion The NOW installing Yellow Bar! We’ll need more than patience and endurance to defeat those bosses! Seriously…preordered my Copy Long ago! Still hoping for a collectors edition. Not holding my breath.

  • @ DZORMAGEN . What are you taking about keeping their lips shut about the game? Where were you when they were revealing stages, characters, game modes, weapons and stages over the last few months? Are you people kidding me? I am assuming the people who are saying this crap haven’t been following the game at all right? Superbot has been doing nothing but revealing for the last few months. What the hell are you talking about? Have you been in a hole or something these past few months?

  • Thanks for the reply.. but really? Is this it?? I’m so disappointed…..

  • No more characters? Cancelling my pre-order

  • Wow, I was so excited for this game when it was announced, but this roster is extremely disappointing. 10% of the roster is Cole, You picked 3rd party characters nobody asked for.

    Seriously, when this game was rumored, did you see anybody ask for Big Daddy (used to be xbox exclusive), Heihach (already in fighting game), New Dante (one of the most hated characters in video games, game not even out yet), Raiden (over Snake???, and game not out yet either) Wasn’t this game supposed to be a celebration of Playstation and its fans?

    You guys didn’t even show love to one of Sony’s best IP’s Ico/Shadow of the Colossus? No Final Fantasy? No Snake? I understand some studios won’t let you hold some of their babies, but these are unacceptable. If you weren’t gonna bring in heavy hitters with the 3rd party, than there was no point of adding them. Since I can think of a number of Sony franchises that can replace them. Even worse I see the dev’s of Oddworld on the net begging you to add Abe in the game, and you ignore them.

    This game was gonna be a must-buy for this Christmas, but now it’s a $20 purchase. :( I’m so disappointed

  • This is lame. A 20-character roster padded with some characters no one asked for to represent the past, present and future of Playstation? No Team Ico representation? No Final Fantasy rep? No Snake? No Crash? No Spyro? What have you guys been doing for the past 3 years?!

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